BSO Hurricane Guide

Installing hurricane shutters:

Hurricane shutters are used to protect doors and windows from wind-borne objects and to prevent damage caused by sudden pressure changes when windows or doors fail. Shutters can be made of metal, wood or plastic and are available in different styles; the most common are steel or metal panels, accordion style and roll-down. Home improvement stores sell shutters and a number of companies in south Florida custom-build and install shutters. Many municipal building codes now require hurricane shutters for all new home construction.

If you've never installed your shutters, do a "dry run" before the hurricane season begins; install them to make sure you're familiar with how they operate. You can identify problems with your shutters that might not be fixable as a storm is approaching. Make sure you have the appropriate tools and hardware necessary to complete the job.

If you're using plywood to cover windows and doors, select at least 5/8" stock. Pre-drill holes into the plywood sheets and into your masonry and use screws and anchors to secure the plywood; masonry nails are not recommended as they can fail in strong winds.

If you have metal panel shutters, handle them only with heavy work gloves. The panels are heavy and the edges can be sharp. When you use a ladder, make sure you work with a buddy who holds and stabilizes the ladder. Emergency rooms in south Florida report a number of injuries every hurricane season due to falls from ladders.

When a storm has passed and it's safe to venture outside, remove the shutters or plywood from at least one window or door in every room. A fully-shuttered house may be safe in a hurricane, but presents a fire hazard by blocking escape routes. Establish an emergency escape plan and make sure everyone in the house is aware of how they should exit in the event of fire.

BSO Hurricane Guide Main Page
Be aware of approaching storms
Hurricane supplies
As the storm approaches
Should you evacuate?
Pet and livestock owners - special preparations
Staying safe during the hurricane
After the storm has safely passed
Generator safety
Price gouging
Snapshot Damage Assessment Program
More information
List of Broward County hurricane shelters

Other helpful information from Broward County:

For a complete list of Broward County services, please click here to view The Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Staying Safe Main Page

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